nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2021‒04‒19
28 papers chosen by

  1. Capitalism: Worries of the 1930s for the 2020s By Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke
  2. History as heresy: unlearning the lessons of economic orthodoxy By O'Sullivan, Mary
  3. Book's review: Mary O'Sullivan (2016), Dividends of Development – Securities Markets in the History of US Capitalism, 1866–1922, Oxford University Press By Laurent Le Maux
  4. Macroeconomic effects of the trade wars: Smoot-Hawley Protectionism Tariff By Toptancı, Ali İskan
  5. Carbon Policy and the Emissions Implications of Electric Vehicles By Kenneth Gillingham; Marten Ovaere; Stephanie Weber
  6. Marx's Equalized Rate of Exploitation By Jonathan F. Cogliano
  7. Economic Crises in Greece, 1833-2018: External and Domestic Aspects By Nicos Christodoulakis
  8. Econometric history of the growth–volatility relationship in the USA: 1919–2017 By Amélie Charles; Olivier Darné
  9. In Search of Lost Time: Firm Vintage and Macroeconomic Dynamics By HAMANO Masashige; OKUBO Toshihiro
  10. Effects of Passive Smoking on Prenatal and Infant Development: Lessons from the Past By Carlo Ciccareli; Gianni De Fraja; Daniela Vuri
  11. Ayman Reda: Prophecy, Piety, and Profits: A Conceptual and Comparative History of Islamic Economic Thought, Reviewed by: Tariq Aziz أيمن رضا: النبوة والتقوى والأرباح: تاريخ مفاهيمي ومقارَن للفكر الاقتصادي الإسلامي: مراجعة: طارق عزيز By Reviewed by: Tariq Aziz
  12. A database of the economic impacts of historical volcanic eruptions By M Goujon; Hajare El Hadri; Raphael Paris
  13. Impact of Colonial Institutions on Economic Growth and Development in India: Evidence from Night Lights Data By Priyaranjan Jha; Karan Talathi
  14. A Brief History of Hyperinflation in Argentina By Emilio Ocampo
  15. The sources of growth in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899‐1941 By Bakker, Gerben; Crafts, Nicholas; Woltjer, Pieter
  16. Quantitative Economic Geography Meets History: Questions, Answers and Challenges By Dávid Krisztián Nagy
  17. Great Expectations. Hicks on Expectations from Theory of Wages (1932) to Value and Capital (1939) By Jean-Sébastien Lenfant
  18. Exploring Regional Innovation Policies and Regional Industrial Transformation from a Co-Evolutionary Perspective: The Case of Małopolska, Poland By Marta Gancarczyk; Marta Najda-Janoszka; Jacek Gancarczyk; Robert Hassink
  19. Creativity over Time and Space - A Historical Analysis of European Cities By Michel Serafinelli; Guido Tabellini
  20. Hooked on a subsidy: transfers and preferences for State intervention By Giuseppe Albanese; Guido DeBlasio; Lorenzo Incoronato
  21. We Live in a Motorized Civilization: Robert Moses Replies to Robert Caro By Geoff Boeing
  22. Women's Voice on Redistribution: From Gender Norms to Taxation By Monica Bozzano; Paola Profeta; Riccardo Puglisi; Simona Scabrosetti
  23. The Struggle with Inequality By Shin-Ichiro Inaba
  24. Regional Banking and Plant Survival in Japan By NISHIOKA Shuichiro; OKUBO Toshihiro; TANAKA Mari
  25. Changes in Victorian entrepreneurship in England and Wales 1851-1911: methodology and business population estimates By Bennett, Robert J.; Smith, Harry; Montebruno Bondi, Piero; van Lieshout, Carry
  26. The income-inequality relationship within U.S. metropolitan areas 1980-2016 By Seifert, Friederike
  27. The population of non-corporate business proprietors in England and Wales 1891–1911 By Bennett, Robert J.; Smith, Harry; Montebruno, Piero
  28. "The Souk Al-Manakh: The Anatomy of a Pure Price-Chasing Bubble" By Frank Veneroso; Mark Pasquali

  1. By: Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: There is a whiff of the 1930s about the title of this special issue. Then as now, intellectuals denounced the ills produced by capitalism, defended it, pondered how to reform it, worried that it would collapse, or looked forward to the day when it would. Many of the debates of that time echo strongly now, with similar arguments being made on both sides of more than one issue. To what extent do these intellectual debates, and the economic history which produced them, speak to our current predicament?
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: O'Sullivan, Mary
    Abstract: In spring 2020, in the face of the covid-19 pandemic, central bankers in rich countries made unprecedented liquidity injections to stave off an economic crisis. Such radical action by central banks gained legitimacy during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and enjoys strong support from prominent economists and economic historians. Their certainty reflects a remarkable agreement on a specific interpretation of the Great Depression of the 1930s in the United States, an interpretation developed by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz in A Monetary History of the United States (1963). In this article, I explore the origins, the influence and the limits of A Monetary History’s interpretation for the insights it offers on the relationship between theory and history in the study of economic life. I show how historical research has been mobilised to show the value of heretical ideas in order to challenge economic orthodoxies. Friedman and Schwartz understood the heretical potential of historical research and exploited it in A Monetary History to question dominant interpretations of the Great Depression in their time. Now that their interpretation has become our orthodoxy, I show how we can develop the fertile link between history and heresy to better understand our economic past.
    JEL: N0 N1 N2 B3 B4 B5
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Laurent Le Maux (LED - Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis)
    Date: 2021–03–28
  4. By: Toptancı, Ali İskan
    Abstract: In this study, trade wars started after the USA accepted the Smoot-Hawley tariff in June 1930. US businessmen opposed the implementation of this tariff, and many of them retaliated by increasing the tariffs on imports from the US. Using the new quarterly data on the bilateral trade of 99 countries during the war period, it is seen that US exports to protesting countries fell by 15-22%, while US exports against those who retaliated fell between 28-33%. Therefore, if a second data on US exports on a product basis is used, US exports to retaliatory markets were significantly affected. This situation is stated to be a possible mechanism where the USA is targeted despite the MFN (Most Observed Nation Registration) obligations of the countries. It is observed that the earnings of retaliating countries from trade declined by about 8-17%.
    Keywords: USA,Protectionism,Trade Wars,Import and Export,Retaliation
    JEL: F13 F14 N70 N72
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Kenneth Gillingham; Marten Ovaere; Stephanie Weber
    Abstract: Creativity is often highly concentrated in time and space, and across different domains. What explains the formation and decay of clusters of creativity? We match data on notable individuals born in Europe between the XIth and the XIXth century with historical city data. The production and attraction of creative talent is associated with city institutions that protected economic and political freedoms and promoted local autonomy. Instead, indicators of local economic conditions such as city size and real wages, do not predict creative clusters. We also show that famous creatives are spatially concentrated and clustered across disciplines, that their spatial mobility has remained stable over the centuries, and that creative clusters are persistent but less than population.
    Keywords: electric vehicles, carbon pricing, interacting regulations, air pollution
    JEL: H23 Q48 Q53 Q54 Q58 R48
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Jonathan F. Cogliano
    Abstract: Marx assumes a uniform rate of exploitation throughout Capital, yet the theoretical basis for this assumption and its role in his theory of value are not well understood in the existing literature. This paper shows that Marx assumed a tendentially equalized rate of exploitation to be the outcome of labor mobility, and that he viewed this as a general tendency of capitalist economies. Marx draws extensively on Adam Smith to support his views on labor mobility and the equalized rate of exploitation. The close connection between Smith and Marx on notions of labor mobility is examined here. Understanding the role of labor mobility and the equalized rate of exploitation in Marx’s work holds implications for contemporary approaches to classical-Marxian price and value theory and supports the view that Marx’s theory of value is, in the most general sense, a theory of the allocation of social labor.
    Keywords: Adam Smith; Karl Marx; Labor Mobility; Long-Period Method; Rate of Exploitation.
    JEL: B14 B24 B51 C67 D46 D51
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Nicos Christodoulakis (Athens University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Using long term statistical series for Greece, the study locates and discusses all major crises that took place in Greece since Independence until recent times. By comparing its business cycles and growth dynamics in other countries, Greece is found to be practically disconnected from the world economic order for most of the epoch until WWII, in the course of which the economy remained stagnant, underdeveloped and often had to go bankrupt. The country managed to get more robustly integrated in the postwar economic system, first with the Bretton Woods agreement and this century with the Euro area, securing sustained growth and convergence to peer economies, at least until the outbreak of global credit crunch. Apart from the credit isolation imposed upon Greece for most of the first epoch, some major policy weaknesses are identified - such as the high ratio of defense and interest payments to revenues, the overwhelming burden of consumption taxes and a clientilistic system in the allocation of resources - that may help to explain the frequency and transmission of a crisis. Some of the stylized facts survive to the present.
    Date: 2021–04–08
  8. By: Amélie Charles (Audencia Business School); Olivier Darné (Université de Nantes IAE)
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: HAMANO Masashige; OKUBO Toshihiro
    Abstract: This paper attempts to reproduce the past landscape of the economy with the help of evidence and structural models. For that purpose, we built a theoretical model consisting of endogenous firm entry and firm selection. Given the distribution of firm age and firm sales that we see today, we simulated age-specific technologies and fixed costs for operation. With these simulated parameters, we then reestablished the macroeconomic dynamics of each historical firm. With Japanese data from over 126 years, despite the massive presence of firms created after the Second World War until the oil crisis in the 1970s, we found that these historical firms show relatively low productivity. Old historical firms are subject to high fixed costs and high productivity. Finally, we demonstrated that our counterfactual fixed costs dramatically change the landscape of historical firms, as well as their characteristics.
    Date: 2021–03
  10. By: Carlo Ciccareli; Gianni De Fraja; Daniela Vuri
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of passive smoking on child development. We use data from a time when the adverse effects of smoking on health were not known, and when tobacco was not an inferior good. This allows us to disentangle the effect on foetuses and infants of smoking frm that of other indicators of social and economic conditions. We exploit a set of unique longitudinal historical datasets defined at a detailed level of geographical disaggregation, namely the 69 Italian provinces. The datasets record precise information on the per capita consumption of tobacco products, the heights of twenty-year old conscripts in the second half of the 19th century Italy, and other relevant controls. We find a strong negative effect of smoking in the period before and after birth on the height at age 20. Results are robust to changes in specification and consistent across the height distribution.
    Keywords: passive smoking, stature, nineteenth century Italy, infant development.
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Reviewed by: Tariq Aziz (Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University, India)
    Abstract: In the history of ideas, the unit of analysis is an individual concept. A historian tries to identify and describe the emergence, evolution, and recession of ideas over time. The present book may fall in this category where the author presents the history of intellectual thought on selected topics in major intellectual traditions including Islam. Islamic economic thought is an important link between Greek philosophy and modern economic thought. This book under review presents, in an intellectually provoking and lucid manner, the intellectual economic thoughts in Greek, Christian, Islamic, classical, neoclassical, and modern intellectual traditions. At a time when the world is facing grave economic and financial issues, the book’s attempt to provide an intellectual history of economic thought from diverse traditions is novel in its scope and aspiration. This is an admirable work in an area of immense importance. وحدة التحليل هي مفهوم فردي في تاريخ الأفكار. من واجبات المؤرخ أن يحاول تحديد ووصف ظهور وتطور وانكماش الأفكار بمرور الوقت. قد يقع هذا الكتاب في هذه الفئة حيث يعرض المؤلف تاريخ الفكر الفكري حول مواضيع مختارة في التقاليد الفكرية الرئيسية بما في ذلك الإسلام. الفكر الاقتصادي الإسلامي هو رابط مهم بين الفلسفة اليونانية والفكر الاقتصادي الحديث. يعرض هذا الكتاب قيد المراجعة، بطريقة استفزازية وواضحة، الأفكار الاقتصادية الفكرية في التقاليد الفكرية اليونانية والمسيحية والإسلامية والكلاسيكية والحديثة. في الوقت الذي يواجه فيه العالم مشاكل اقتصادية ومالية خطيرة، فإن محاولة الكتاب تقديم تاريخ فكري للفكر الاقتصادي من تقاليد متنوعة هي جديدة في نطاقه وطموحه. هذا عمل مثير للإعجاب في منطقة ذات أهمية كبيرة.
    Keywords: Intellectual thought, Islam, Greek ideas, Classical tradition, Neoclassical economics. الفكر الفكري، الإسلام، الأفكار اليونانية، التقليد الكلاسيكي، الاقتصاد الكلاسيكي الجديد.
    JEL: B10 B20 B29
    Date: 2020–07
  12. By: M Goujon (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Hajare El Hadri (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Raphael Paris (LMV - Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans - INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement et la société - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - OPGC - Observatoire de Physique du Globe de Clermont-Ferrand - INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: History has shown that economic consequences of a volcanic eruption can be disastrous, and nowadays 800 million people in 86 different countries are living within 100 km of an active or a potentially active volcano. Eruptions can cause significant economic loss and damage directly (eruptive processes) or indirectly (associated non-eruptive processes like lahars, tsunamis, etc.), and through cascading effects (perturbations on transport, networks, etc.). Loss and damages can then be direct, indirect, tangible or intangible, short-term or long-term, also depending on the exposure and vulnerability of the economic activities. Existing database on historical eruptions do not provide, or too sparsely, information on these economic impacts. The aim of the project presented in this paper is to build a new database to increase our understanding in the field, to facilitate the identification of vulnerability and resilience factors to future events. We first selected a sample of 55 eruptions from 42 volcanoes located in 18 developing and developed countries, that occurred after the World War II. We documented a number of physical characteristics of these eruptions and volcanoes. Second, we identified the different damages and losses due to volcanic events through 37 qualitative and quantitative variables. We collected economic information and data on these variables, using a variety of sources (governmental and non-governmental agencies, academic institutions, volcanic observatories, press, etc.). This database will be accessible through a web interface and the community will be able to contribute to its development by recording information on the economic consequences of past and future events. A next step would consist in extrapolating the economic impacts for those historical eruptions with missing data and of those that are not included in our first sample.
    Keywords: Database,Natural disaster,Economic damage,Volcanic eruption
    Date: 2021–03
  13. By: Priyaranjan Jha (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Karan Talathi (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: We study the implications of two historical institutions, direct British rule, and the heterogeneous land tenure institutions implemented by the British, on disparity in present day development using district level data from India. Using nightlights per c apita as a proxy for district level per capita income, we find that modern districts that were historically under direct British rule had 39.47% less nightlights per capita in 1993 relative to modern districts that were historically under indirect British rule. The large gap persists even after including other controls such as educational attainment, health, and physical infrastructure. Looking at the growth pattern during 1993 to 2013, directly ruled districts had a 1.84% lower annual growth rate compared to indirectly ruled districts. As well, directly ruled districts were converging at a rate of 2% per year while indirectly ruled districts were converging at a rate of 5.7% per year. Much of the development gap between areas under indirect rule and direct rule can be accounted for by the adverse effect of landlord-based revenue collection system in the directly ruled areas.
    Keywords: Institutions; Direct British Rule; Economic Growth; Nightlights per Capita; Land Tenure System; Economic Development; Human Capital
    JEL: O11 O43 P16 P51
    Date: 2021–04
  14. By: Emilio Ocampo
    Abstract: A fiscal deficit of 8.5% of GDP, limited access to credit locally and internationally, country risk premiums at default levels and money supply growing at 80% annually, have led some analysts to predict that Argentina might be heading into a “3-digit modern hyperinflation.” Although this opinion is not widely held, the consensus inflation forecast for 2021 is 47%, a level significantly below any definition of hyperinflation but high by global standards (above the 98th percentile). Even more worrisome, over the last decade inflation has shown a persistent upward trend and since January 2019 has averaged 45%. Given all of the above, it is worthwhile investigating when Argentina experienced it and why. This paper attempts to answer the first part of this question. According to a widely accepted view there was only one hyperinflation between 1989 and 1990. This paper argues that Argentina experienced four hyperinflationary episodes that were part of a long-term cycle that started in 1945.
    Keywords: Argentina, Inflation, Extreme Inflation, Hyperinflation
    JEL: E31 N16
    Date: 2021–04
  15. By: Bakker, Gerben; Crafts, Nicholas; Woltjer, Pieter
    Abstract: We develop new aggregate total factor productivity (TFP) growth estimates for the USA between 1899 and 1941, and sectoral estimates at the most disaggregated level so far, 38 industries. We include hard-to-measure services, and a refined measure of sectoral labour quality growth. The resulting data set supersedes Kendrick (1961), showing TFP growth lower than previously thought, broadly based across industries, and strongly variant intertemporally. The four ‘great inventions’ that Gordon (2016) highlighted were important but less dominant in TFP growth than their predecessors in the British industrial revolution. The findings also make it unlikely the 1930s had the twentieth century's highest TFP growth.
    Keywords: productivity growth; total factor productivity; great inventions; spillovers; United States history
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–08–01
  16. By: Dávid Krisztián Nagy
    Abstract: A rapidly growing literature uses quantitative general equilibrium models of economic geography to study the economic impact of historical events such as the railroad revolution, industrial take-off, structural transformation and wars. I identify three key challenges facing this literature: the tractability of model structure, the availability of historical data, and issues related to identification. I review the literature by discussing how it has been addressing each of these challenges. While doing so, I point out the rich set of questions that this literature can address, as well as the methodological innovations it has conducted to answer these questions.
    Date: 2021–04
  17. By: Jean-Sébastien Lenfant (CLERSE - Centre Lillois d’Études et de Recherches Sociologiques et Économiques - UMR 8019 - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The article is intended as an in-depth study of the development and role of expectations within John R. Hicks' representation of the functioning of a capitalist economy. It covers his contributions to economic theory in the 1930s, with a particular focus on Value and Capital. The question underlying the study is whether Hicks develops a theory of expectations. We argue that there are several elements of such a theory in Hicks's work, though what is most important to him is the historical dynamic generated by heterogeneity of expectations.
    Abstract: L'article explore en détail le développement et le rôle des anticipations dans la représentation du fonctionnement d'une économie capitaliste selon John Hicks. Il couvre ses contributions à la théorie économique dans les années, 1930, avec un accent sur Valeur et Capitali. La question posée est de savoir si Hicks propose une théorie des anticipations. Nous soutenons qu'il y a plusieurs éléments d'une telle théorie dans les écrits de Hicks, mais que ce qui est le plus important pour lui est la dynamique historique générée par l'hétérogénéité des anticipations.
    Keywords: Hicks (john Richard),expectations,temporary equilibrium,stability,cycles Hicks (John Richard),anticipations,équilibre temporaire,stabilité,cycles
    Date: 2020
  18. By: Marta Gancarczyk; Marta Najda-Janoszka; Jacek Gancarczyk; Robert Hassink
    Abstract: The Małopolska region in southern Poland has a long tradition of mature and heavy industries, but more recently also new, unrelated industries have been emerging in this region, such as knowledge intensive business services. At the same time, innovation policies have been decentralizing over the last 20 years in Poland and in the Małopolska region, therefore, the effects of regional innovation policies on regional industrial transformation (RIT) have grown. Against this background, the paper aims to explain the role of regional innovation policies in regional industrial transformation from a co-evolutionary perspective. For this purpose, it extends the common co-evolutionary theoretical framework with interaction mechanisms, i.e. the processes underlying policy-industry mutual influences, and thus explaining their co-evolution. Interaction mechanisms allow us to better understand the major directions in industrial development and in policy approach, namely, the exploitation of extant capabilities and the exploration of new economic areas. The role of innovation policy in the Małopolska RIT can be described as predominantly assisting and adjusting to industrial change with some level of proactive promotion of new industrial opportunities. Overall, we observe reciprocal relationships with regional industry rather than unidirectional influence of this policy. We find this dynamic interaction a positive phenomenon that enabled the evolution of policy to balance the exploitative and explorative approaches to industrial development.
    Keywords: regional innovation policies, regional industrial transformation, co-evolution, Małopolska, Poland
    Date: 2021
  19. By: Michel Serafinelli; Guido Tabellini
    Abstract: Creativity is often highly concentrated in time and space, and across different domains. What explains the formation and decay of clusters of creativity? We match data on notable individuals born in Europe between the XIth and the XIXth century with historical city data. The production and attraction of creative talent is associated with city institutions that protected economic and political freedoms and promoted local autonomy. Instead, indicators of local economic conditions such as city size and real wages, do not predict creative clusters. We also show that famous creatives are spatially concentrated and clustered across disciplines, that their spatial mobility has remained stable over the centuries, and that creative clusters are persistent but less than population.
    Keywords: innovation, agglomeration, political institutions, immigration, gravity, human capital
    JEL: R10 O10 J61 J24
    Date: 2021
  20. By: Giuseppe Albanese (Banca d'Italia); Guido DeBlasio (Banca d'Italia); Lorenzo Incoronato (University College London)
    Abstract: Residents of areas that benefit from outside assistance may develop preferences towards more state intervention and distrust of the market economy. The paper focuses on the backward territories of the Centre and South of Italy, where a massive place-based policy (extraordinary intervention in the Mezzogiorno) was implemented over the second half of the twentieth century (from 1950 to 1992). We leverage quasi-experimental variation in public transfers to show that people’s attitudes towards state intervention have been shaped permanently in the subsidized areas. We also document that these preferences do not depend on the long-term economic impact of the policy, which was very small, and are empirically well distinguishable from other attitudes in favor of populist instances.
    Keywords: Preferences for state intervention, transfers, place-based policies
    JEL: H2 I38 P16 R58
    Date: 2021–02
  21. By: Geoff Boeing
    Abstract: In 1974, Robert Caro published The Power Broker, a critical biography of Robert Moses's dictatorial tenure as the "master builder" of mid-century New York. Moses profoundly transformed New York's urban fabric and transportation system, producing the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the Westside Highway, the Cross-Bronx Expressway, the Lincoln Center, the UN headquarters, Shea Stadium, Jones Beach State Park and many other projects. However, The Power Broker did lasting damage to his public image and today he remains one of the most controversial figures in city planning history. On August 26, 1974, Moses issued a turgid 23-page statement denouncing Caro's work as "full of mistakes, unsupported charges, nasty baseless personalities, and random haymakers." Moses's original typewritten statement survives today as a grainy photocopy in the New York City Parks Department archive. To better preserve and disseminate it, I have extracted and transcribed its text using optical character recognition and edited the result to correct errors. Here I compile my transcription of Moses's statement, alongside Caro's reply to it.
    Date: 2021–03
  22. By: Monica Bozzano; Paola Profeta; Riccardo Puglisi; Simona Scabrosetti
    Abstract: Gender norms, i.e. the role of men and women in the society, are a fundamental channel through which culture may influence preferences for redistribution and public policies. We consider both cross-country and individual level evidence on this mechanism. We find that in countries that are historically more gender-equal the tax system today is more redistributive. At the individual level, we find that in more gender equal countries gender differences in redistributive preferences are significantly larger. This effect is driven by women becoming systematically more favorable to redistribution, while there are no significant changes for men. Interestingly, there is no gender-based difference in preferences for redistribution among left-leaning citizens, while this difference is significant among moderates in the expected direction: ideologically moderate women are more favorable to redistribution than moderate men, and this effect is even stronger among right-leaning individuals.
    Keywords: gender inequality, comparative public finance, tax mix, institutions, historical origins
    JEL: H10 H20 N30 Z18
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Shin-Ichiro Inaba
    Abstract: This is an introductory textbook of the history of economics of inequality for undergraduates and genreral readers. The first and second chapters focus on Adam Smith and Karl Marx, in the broad classical tradition of economics, where it is believed that there is an inseparable relationship between production and distribution, economic growth and inequality. Chapters 3 and 4 argue that despite the fact that the founders of the neoclassical school had shown an active interest in worker poverty, the issues of production and distribution became discussed separately among neoclassicals. Toward the end of the 20th century, however, there was a renewed awareness within economics of the problem of the relationship between production and distribution. The young Piketty's beginnings as an economist are set against this backdrop. Chapters 5 to 8 will explain the circumstances of the restoration of classical concerns within the neoclassical framework. Then, in chapters 9 and 10, I will discuss the fact that Thomas Piketty's seminal work is a new development in this "inequality renaissance," and try to gain a perspective on future trends in the debate. Mathematical appendix presents simple models of growth and distribution.
    Date: 2021–04
  24. By: NISHIOKA Shuichiro; OKUBO Toshihiro; TANAKA Mari
    Abstract: Since the burst of the bubble economy in the early 1990s, the stock and real estate prices collapsed in Japan. Among financial institutions, city banks were impacted the most. As a result, city banks reduced lending markedly, whereas regional banks kept credit flowing to borrowers. We use the plant-level data from the manufacturing sector to examine how regional differences in the share of city banks influenced plant survival. Using the historic share of city banks for each prefecture, we show that survival rates of plants in the mid-1990s were significantly lower in the prefectures with a high share of city banks. However, prefectures that underwent aggressive restructuring of city banks saw no improvements in employment and the prevalence of zombies as well as the reduction of regional markups and productivity.
    Date: 2021–03
  25. By: Bennett, Robert J.; Smith, Harry; Montebruno Bondi, Piero; van Lieshout, Carry
    Abstract: The full population of England and Wales employers and own-account business proprietors is estimated using population censuses 1851-1911. The main contribution of the paper is a method of mixed single imputation to overcome the challenge of non-responses to the census 1851-81. This method is compared with alternatives. Downloads of all data allow replication. The method is used to track trends in proprietor numbers and entrepreneurship rates to reassess the ‘decline of Victorian entrepreneurship’, onset of the ‘U’-shaped trough of the twentieth century, the ‘climacteric’ of 1901, and compositional changes by sector and sex. There is strong sector and gender diversity, with changes in female participation major drivers of overall trends. Proprietor numbers show slow increases of employers, and rapid rise and then decline of own-account, with a turning point after 1901. The methodology and turning point is compared and confirmed against the 1921 census and national and local trade directories.
    Keywords: ES/M010953; ES/M010341/1; RG66385
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–03–30
  26. By: Seifert, Friederike
    Abstract: Economic growth might both increase and decrease income inequality, depending on the circumstances. The nature of this relationship matters at the city level as well. This paper examines the income-inequality relationship within U.S. metropolitan areas using cross-section and panel regression techniques over the 1980-2016 period. It finds that this relationship changes over time. A higher per capita income level was associated with a lower within-MSA inequality level in earlier years, but this association vanished later. For the 1980-2000 panel, per capita income increases are accordingly associated with decreases in inequality. In contrast, an increase in per capita income is associated with an increase in inequality in the 2006-2016 panel. The obtained results hint at polarization resulting from technological change substituting middle-skill routine tasks, but further research is still required to solve this puzzle.
    Keywords: Inequality,Income,Metropolitan Areas,United States
    JEL: D31 O18 R11
    Date: 2021
  27. By: Bennett, Robert J.; Smith, Harry; Montebruno, Piero
    Abstract: This article uses population censuses to provide the first consistent counts of the population of business proprietors for 1891–1911. After appropriate adjustments for imperfect Census design the article confirms the persistence of own account self-employed as the most common businesses throughout the period. However, it identifies a turning point around 1901 when the business numbers decisively shifted towards larger firms, where employers with waged workers began substituting for many own account businesses. Developments were, however, multi-faceted, with important sector differences, and some fields of female business beginning to take off over the period, especially in retail and the professions.
    Keywords: business proprietors; self-employed; employers; sector change; gender; female entrepreneurship; Census; family firms; sole proprietors; professions; maker-dealers; retail; manufacturers; mining; farmers; ES/M010953
    JEL: N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2020–11–16
  28. By: Frank Veneroso; Mark Pasquali
    Abstract: It is widely agreed that the Nasdaq during the dot-com era 20 years ago was a full-fledged stock market bubble. Recently, the US stock market according to many metrics has become significantly more speculative and overvalued than it was at the dot-com peak 20 years ago. In both instances, a very broad subset of stocks became so highly valued that speculation in them had to be untethered from all fundamentals: the essence of what we call a "pure price-chasing bubble." This paper, drawn from a book in progress, examines the history of stock markets for comparable pure price-chasing bubbles, finding nine or so which have ever reached such a speculative extreme, with an over-the-counter market in Kuwait in the early 1980s called the "Souk al-Manakh" representing the most extreme example. Based on personal exposure to this Souk al-Manakh almost 40 years ago, we describe this anatomy and thereby make transparent the recurrent dynamics--on the way up and on the way down--of these greatest asset bubbles in human history. When one applies this framework to the current US stock market, one sees that the stock market in the US today will likely follow the disastrous path of the dot-com market.
    Keywords: John Maynard Keynes; Business Cycle; Fiscal Policy; Monetary Policy; Financial System; Uncertainty
    JEL: B31 E12 E32 E44 E63
    Date: 2021–03

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.